WB plans to implement third irrigation project in Azerbaijan in 2011
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 18 / Trend N. Ismayilova /
The World Bank (WB) plans to implement the third project to improve the allocation and management of irrigation systems in Azerbaijan this year, the head of the WB office in Baku, Joseph Owen said during the Business Forum conducted by the Caspian-European Integration Business Club (CEIBC) devoted to the possible implementation of international investment projects in Azerbaijan.
"We are holding the negotiations with the government about a month. Before proceeding to the implementation of the project, about 4-5 months will be required," he said.
The World Bank plans to allocate $ 80 million to implement the project. Roughly $ 70 million is planned to provide from the concessional financing of the international development association and $ 10 million - through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It is expected that the rest part of the project worth $ 150 million will be financed by state funds.
The positive results of the project to improve the distribution and irrigation system management in Azerbaijan, launched in 2003, caused a desire to expand its coverage area. The government appealed to the World Bank with a request to finance a new irrigation project. Roughly 33 regions of Azerbaijan will be involved.
Under the first project, there were established 22 water users associations. The project allowed to improve irrigation system in an area of 56,000 hectares [the new project will cover 100,000 hectares], and covered 100,000 farmers. Expenditures on restoration of irrigation systems reached on average $450 per hectare. Due to that productivity on irrigated lands has increased by 23 percent.
Since 2003, the country has realized an irrigation project worth $43 million covering 11 region through a WB loan (the bank has allocated $39 million).
Earlier, WB disbursed a $42 million through International Development Association (IDA) for the $46.86 million project. The project covered upon 86,000 ha of irrigated lands along the Samur-Absheron Canal and 36,500 ha along Mil-Mugan Collector.